The Basketball Tournament presented by Jack Link’s® Protein Snacks Opens Team Registration and Voting For Winner-Take-All $2 Million Event

Teams To Apply on; Fans to Vote for Which Teams Will Compete for A Chance to Play Live On ESPN

BOSTON – March 31, 2016 – The Basketball Tournament (TBT) presented by Jack Link’s® Protein Snacks officially opens the application period for the 2016 $2 million single elimination winner-take-all event on Friday, April 1, 2016.

“Every team that makes it into TBT 2016 will be six wins away from $2 million,” said Jon Mugar, CEO and founder of The Basketball Tournament. “We expect thousands of players and hundreds of teams to apply. And with the winning team’s fans sharing 10 percent of the prize, we expect fans to be every bit as rabid. April 1 kicks off four months of insanity, leading up to our $2 million, winner-take-all game Aug. 2.” serves as the host for TBT’s social media driven application period, which runs from April 1 to June 1, 2016. The field will be made of 64 teams who will play in four regions of 16 apiece. The top 12 vote getters in each region will receive "automatic" bids, while TBT will select four at-large teams per region to complete the field. Teams can qualify for TBT 2016 only by getting votes from fans that register on the site, with the top 100 fans of the winning team splitting $200,000 (10 percent of the total prize). 

The 2016 Regional games will be played in four regions across the country:

  • South (Charlotte) July 9, 10;
  • West (Los Angeles) July 9, 10;
  • Midwest (Chicago) July 16, 17;
  • Northeast (Philadelphia) July 16, 17.

The Super 16 and Quarterfinals will be held in Philadelphia July 21, 21 and 23. TBT 2016’s Semifinals will be held in New York on Saturday, July 30 with the Championship (also New York) on Tuesday, Aug. 2. ESPN will televise the three games from New York live, with additional broadcast dates to be announced in the coming weeks.

TBT’s 2015 field included hundreds of players who have competed at the highest levels all over the world. Overseas Elite, a team of veteran international professional players, won last year’s $1 million winner-take-all title at the historic Rose Hill Gymnasium. Fans who voted for Overseas Elite shared in the winnings, taking home a combined $50,000 of the grand prize. The Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, a squad made up of some of the best players in University of Notre Dame history, won the inaugural title and $500,000 in 2014. Over 300 teams applied to join the tournament last year, which saw the winner-take-all prize double in value. 

Players must be 18 years of age or older and all games are played under college rules with two 18-minute halves. In addition to Overseas Elite, university-based alumni teams representing schools like Syracuse University, Notre Dame, Princeton, Villanova, Virginia and others have competed in TBT’s previous editions, with more likely to join them in this and future years.


Conceived by CEO Jonathan Mugar as the ultimate opportunity for fans, athletes and social media mavens to live out their dreams and chase once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, TBT’s foundation as a high-stakes, professionally run and organized sporting event, now sees it entering its third year. In its first two seasons, The Basketball Tournament drew over 400 team entries from around the country, with participants ranging from professional players and recent college stars to pickup basketball players and people who have never played above high school.  Among the event’s advisors are Tony Ponturo of Ponturo Management Group, Andy Dolich of Dolich Consulting, and Len DeLuca of Len DeLuca & Associates, LLC. The partnership agreement was secured by TBT’s sponsorship agency of record, Equity Sports Partners, which is led by Cliff Kaplan. For more details visit

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Media Contacts:         

Joe Favorito, Kirmser Ponturo Group | 201-746-0005

Jesse Leeds, TBT | 845-612-9323

Jim DeLorenzo (Philadelphia) | 215-266-5943